Updated: September 30, 2022
Moloka‘i driver Dino Calairo was named the winner of the Maui Economic Opportunity Driver of the Year award for 2021, which was announced at the agency’s monthly staff gathering Friday, Feb. 25.
The award, which recognizes driving excellence, is sponsored by Atlas Insurance and included a plaque and a monetary award.
“Calairo, who has worked for MEO for nearly a decade, has been accident-free for more than eight years and has an excellent work ethic and attendance record. He has maintained a positive attitude through the pandemic and embraced the safety protocols and procedures – all with the goal of keeping clients and staff safe,” according to an MEO announcement.
“He jumps in where needed, including listening for calls where he may be able to assist, and helps keep the Transportation yard in Kaunakakai clean,” according to the announcement.
An MEO Transportation management committee nominated Calairo with the MEO senior executive team giving final approval.
“We actually call the team members behind the wheel of MEO buses, Personal Assistance Technicians, because they do more than drive a bus,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe. “They go into homes to wheel passengers to the bus and onto wheelchair ramps and secure them in. They watch out for the safety of their riders, many of whom are kupuna or persons with disabilities. We applaud Dino and all other MEO PATs for the job that they do.”
During the livestream gathering, MEO also awarded “Cash for No Crash” certificates and monetary awards to 41 drivers. Marvin De Castro led all awardees with 13 years of no crashes or incidents.
The 56-year-old Community Action Partnership nonprofit agency runs the Maui Bus ADA paratransit service through a contract with Maui County and operates county-funded specialized transportation services, providing rides for seniors, persons with disabilities, youths and residents in rural areas throughout Maui County to doctor’s and dialysis appointments, youth sporting events, jobs, shopping, and other destinations.
MEO is looking for drivers on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i and runs a training program for prospective drivers to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License. Drivers are paid during the training period and offered jobs with MEO after receiving their CDL.
For more information about available positions, go to the MEO website at meoinc.org or call 808-877-7651.